Southern California fire forces evacuation of 200 homes

Southern California fire forces evacuation of 200 homes

April 21st, 2013 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

A wildfire burns on the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains above Monrovia, Calif., on Saturday, April 20, 2013. The view of the blaze slowed traffic to a crawl on Interstate 210 northeast of Los Angeles.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

MONROVIA, Calif. - Firefighters are gaining the upper hand on a brush fire that erupted in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills east of Los Angeles.

Authorities are lifting evacuation orders for residents of some 200 homes who were forced to flee after the fire broke out in Monrovia Saturday.

City officials say the blaze was sparked by equipment used by a gardener working the backyard. Flames spread to the hillside behind the residence, scorching about 175 acres.

The fire is 50 percent contained.

The city's fire chief said dry, thick brush on steep terrain made the fire difficult to contain. However, the lack of evening wind is helping firefighters get a handle on the blaze.